SPCA Cupcake Day!

Half Day School likes animals, especially SPCA animals, and part of the curriculum for gifted children is their ethical education, i.e doing what is right. So, along with Bonnie from year 9, we’ve been planning Cupcake Day, the SPCA fundraiser. Students are taking responsibility for the event themselves. Check out the awesome poster that Jenema made! You will see lots around the school. Anna has sorted out class lists and everyone has a class to take orders from. Lets see how Logan gets on with taking staff orders! Today was cupcake decorating practice. Thanks to Bonnie who bought the ingredients, designed the cupcake decorations, and costed out the necessary outlay, we all had a cupcake to practise on. Check out the results below! FINALLY

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Year 8 HDS chose their own topic and theme for term 3 – animals. So we began by looking at taxonomy and how animals are classified. Who knew that Beyonce had a species of beetle names after her, or Bill Gates a spider?!

Today though, we had a visit from three special people – Steph, Tui and Wilbur. They came to tell us about what the SPCA does in Otago and what we can do to help. Steph said her most unusual animal she has rescued was an elephant and has only been bitten once by an animal in 30 years. It was an excellent presentation and we thank all three for their time and expertise!SPCA SPCA 3

Numbers and poems


Alan Mathison Turing, a man who was quite bright, an enemy of the Nazi’s, and a man who caused some political arguments.

He cracked the Nazi naval enigma, Churchill gave him high praise, but he was injected with estrogen, because Britain didn’t like gays!!!

Given a posthumous pardon, from Great Britain’s queen, the reason for this is because in the 50’s the government were quite mean.

Which brings me to the point why did no one start a petition for this great mathematician saying its okay to be gay (earlier)!!!

60 years on some right for their wrong the government apologized, but that doesn’t make do for his suicide, for which he used the poison of the Jewish genocide, and of course that pill was cyanide!!!


Be the Chocolate Bard 2014

The Cadbury chocolate festival in Dunedin (the one with the Jaffas down Baldwin Street) takes place soon, and offers some lucky person the chance to be the Chocolate Bard and win huge chocolatey prizes. Here are some of our poems, plus some of the class having a chocolate “lesson”:

Everything is filled with chocolate

Sea filled with chocolate
A world filled with chocolate
My mouth filled with chocolate
My heart filled with chocolate



Chocolate rainforest

Chocolate parakeets soaring across the sky
I think I’ve gone to heaven
I think I might have died
A waterfall of luxury tumbles down from above
Smooth, creamy and delicious
I think I’ve found true love

Freddo frogs leap through the air
Croaking with delight
Chocolate vines caress my skin
melting in the light

Chocolate fish swim with ease
Splashing in the stream
With a jolt I sit up straight
and realise it was all a dream

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In-store self debate

Rows and rows sit atop the stores shelves
Locked behind their foil cages
You aren’t just chocolate
You’re an angel in disguise.
Caramello, Topdeck and all.

Oh my! Toothpaste $2.50

But I don’t want toothpaste
I need chocolate!
I crave chocolate!
I desire a marvellous creation!
A block of beautiful Topdeck falls to my cart
Okay. now I can get toothpaste.

The Kaleidoscope of giftedness

Luckily, in New Zealand there is no one definition of giftedness and no one test that means you are in or out. You can be gifted academically, musically, emotionally, physically, culturally, in leadership, in business, in service – there are many different facets to giftedness – a kaleidoscope, in fact. We also looked at giftedness from other cultures, such as Tonga, where”poto ako” means doing the right thing in the right place at the right time. It is a duty and a wisdom. We also looked at Maori giftedness, and the concepts of whanaungatanga, rangatiratanga, kaitiakitanga, wairua, manaakitanga, tikanga – that we are gifted not for ourselves, but for the good of our people

Students have been creating a concept design for a t-shirt or accessory for the 2015 Conference for the NZ  National Association for Gifted Children. Here are some of their designs:

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Poetry – lots and lots of it

Poetry is definitely one of those “I hate writing, but love having written” things. Year 7 and 8 Rutherford have been writing much poetry over the last few weeks and it is often HARD. It requires a great deal of use of high order thinking skills and just some plain old grit. It involves learning rules and following instructions, so that you can then break those rules and ignore the instructions.

 Here’s some:


Poems are long
poems are boring
I’d rather be in bed

Poems take thinking
I can’t do them without blinking
Slowly I think my mind is

Poems are words
Poems are absurd
Poems make me feel like a nerd

Poems are a voice
Poems make people rejoice
I only writ this because I had no choice

After Retirement – a sonnet

With flowery walls and scuffed up floors
old quotes pasted across billboards
Deafening TV’s heard through closed doors
Mixed with scratchy sounds of old records
Another dazed and weary looking face.
Exactly eight cats wander the site
The odd, young, looking out of place,
trying to bring warmth to this in spite
of the confused stares and drifting eyes.

A few more lost socks, a faded shirt
waiting as another floats up to the sky
Nods of acknowledgement, so polite and curt.
No-one should ever have to reach this stage
but everyone does after middle age


I walk through the wasteland
This is where I thrive
I see an old hand
This is where he died

A shot came out of nowhere
followed by a grenade
my flesh begins to tear
I need first aid

I’m limping back to base
trying to escape
but they won’t give up their chase
I’m nearly there..so close..

Guest poet workshop for year 9

Year 9 HDS were fortunate to attend a poetry workshop with Liz Breslin in Cromwell last week. Liz’s speciality is assisting people (boys) who think poetry is “that lame embarassing rhyming thing” to create some words they are proud of. During the workshop Liz performed some of her poems and helped students to think about what poetry is,is not and where they stand as a poet. Students were given a variety of creative writing exercises to work on and will be writing  a selection of poetry to enter into the NZ International poetry competition at the end of this month. Liz is a local poet and playwright who recently performed at the Outspoken poetry festival in Wanaka with m Hunt and Sue Wootton.